IFF serves as a real estate developer to launch community-driven projects. At the end of 2020, we had 18 projects under development, representing 442,000 square feet and $179 million in value. But we aren’t driven by size and value — it’s the why and how we do this work that matter most.

We work closely with community development partners to identify gaps where impactful projects would not happen through traditional development avenues. This is where we use our strength and creativity to bring to life development projects that bring new resources to the communities we serve. Our expertise in planning, team building, and capital resources allows us to make challenging projects possible – in and for the communities we serve.

Equitable Community Development Principles

Engage in visioning and implementation with community residents and stakeholders

Build and preserve local community assets and wealth

Advance development guided by an inclusive community vision

Ensure that equitable community development addresses the social determinants of health beyond affordable housing and economic development

Bridge growth and equitable opportunity with a long-term commitment, or resources and time, with community partners

Our Projects

Beginning with our supportive housing practice Home First in 2010, IFF’s Development team has grown to be a leader in many sectors — including schools, early childhood education, food system facilities, and comprehensive community planning. Use the tool below to explore our projects.

Completed: June 2020

Chatham Workforce and Education Center - Chicago, IL

IFF created a wholly-owned subsidiary to acquire an existing two-story, 10,440-square-foot commercial building at 630 E. 79th Street, which was redeveloped for Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (CCWP). The capital stack includes $250,000 in equity from JP Morgan Chase. The Sarowitz Family provided Opportunity Zone (OZ) capital to acquire the LLC from IFF on behalf of CCWP. Total development costs: $3 million.

Completed: January 2019

The Hatchery - Chicago, IL

The 67,000-square-foot complex houses 56 food-grade kitchens along with dry-cold storage, loading docks, and meeting and office spaces. The ambitious project was the result of a three-way partnership between IFF, Accion Chicago, and Industrial Council of Northwest Chicago (ICNC) with IFF serving as its lead developer, pulling together parcels of land and pieces of financing to bring the project to fruition. The Hatchery provides incubator spaces and services for approximately 100 start-up or early-stage food businesses. Total development costs: $32.4 million.

Completed: February 2016

Save-a-Lot - Waukegan, IL

IFF developed and owns a grocery store in Waukegan that is leased and operated by Save-A-Lot in an area of the city formerly designated as a food desert. The 10,000-square-foot store was developed as part of IFF’s Illinois Fresh Food Fund. Total development costs: $3.5 million.

Completed: August 2015

Save-A-Lot - Rockford, IL

IFF developed and owns a grocery store in Rockford, IL, that is leased and operated by Save-A-Lot. Construction began in October 2014 on the 15,000-square-foot building which IFF identified, built, and financed. The full-service grocery store is in a neighborhood formerly designated as a food desert. Total development costs: $3 million.

Under Development

ACT Aspire - Chicago, IL

IFF is supporting Austin Coming Together (ACT) in refining its development plans in partnership with the Westside Health Authority (WHA) and By The Hand Club (BTHC) as a finalist for the Chicago Prize offered by the Pritzker Traubert Foundation.

Under Development

Choice Neighborhoods / Economic Empowerment Center - St. Louis, MO

Development of a multi-tenant community facility on the Near North Side close to the Preservation Square public housing development and the federally funded National Geospatial-intelligence Agency.  The multi-tenant hub will be an important community anchor.  A portion of the funds for the project come from a capital grant within the CHOICE neighborhood program.

Under Development

Homan Square Fillmore Lot - Chicago, IL

Creative place making utilizing shipping containers and programming in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) to activate a vacant lot at the southeastern gateway to the community.

Under Development

Homan & Harrison - Chicago, IL

New construction of a two-story, mixed-use building at the northern gateway to the neighborhood and in close proximity to the CTA Blue Line Homan Avenue stop.  IFF will own this building for an interim period.